With head coach Alain Vigneault and general manager Chuck Fletcher looking on from the balcony of Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone, the 34 players on their training camp roster were split up into two for an intrasquad scrimmage.
Make that 33 players.
Jakub Voracek was a late scratch, deemed "unable to participate," per the Flyers. We'll get further into that below.
Connor Bunnaman, Travis Konecny and Shayne Gostisbehere scored goals, leading Team B to a 3-2 win over Team A, which received tallies from Justin Braun and James van Riemsdyk.
Here were the rosters (minus Voracek) for each team as the Flyers completed Day 6 of their two-week camp in preparation for the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament.
Let's get into five more observations from camp:
Why no Voracek?
During training camps and the tournament, teams are not allowed to release specifications for injuries.
Per the league ahead of Phase 3:
Given the unique circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, effective with the start of Phase 3 (Monday, July 13) and, including the entirety of the Phase 4 return to play, the NHL and the NHL players’ association have mutually agreed that clubs are not permitted to disclose player injury and/or illness information. This policy was adopted out of respect for an individual player’s right to medical privacy. The league will continue to announce, on a regular basis throughout Phase 3 and Phase 4, positive player test results for COVID-19 while not releasing individual player or team identities.
So with Voracek's absence Saturday, it could have been because of anything.
"Can’t give you more than what Chuck sent out in the memo there," Vigneault said after the scrimmage.
Some things to point out:
• Voracek participated in all of the previous four on-ice days of camp and appeared fine.
"I've never skated this much in a summer," Voracek said Tuesday. "I think that's going to be an advantage for me because I had that opportunity to skate."
• Voracek's absence was announced a minute after the scrimmage's 10:12 a.m. puck drop.
During training camp, players are tested for COVID-19 on an every-other-day basis and are asked to use the EDGE10 app to record temperature and symptom checks daily before arriving to the practice facility. They are also required to take a separate temperature and symptom check when entering the facility.
Voracek and players obviously arrive earlier in the morning for any pre-ice prep and warmups.
• All other 33 players participated in the scrimmage, guys who have practiced with Voracek this week.
What was the concern level that Voracek was unable to play?
"No concern," Scott Laughton said. "We’ve got lots of time until Toronto, we’ve got a week coming up and we’ll be all good to go."
• Voracek's absence could have been for something as simple as a maintenance day, precaution or any other type of injury.
The Flyers are scheduled to practice Sunday morning. If Voracek doesn't partake, then maybe concern might grow.
Jakub Voracek here at practice. Good sign. He was “unable to participate” in scrimmage Saturday. pic.twitter.com/MEIZGmXqfZ— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) July 19, 2020
Jakub Voracek's test Friday was delayed and came back inconclusive. That's why he was out. He has now tested negative.— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) July 19, 2020
“You guys panic so much.”— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) July 19, 2020
- Jakub Voracek pic.twitter.com/iCLbRDFRF4
The Flyers have some time on their side. They head to the Eastern Conference's hub city Toronto July 26 and don't play their first round-robin game until Aug. 2, while the first round of the playoffs is set to begin Aug. 11.
Buzz on Farabee
Joel Farabee answered an early bell with a strong performance in the scrimmage playing alongside Kevin Hayes and Konecny on the winning Team B.
That trio was constantly pushing things north and working in the offensive zone.
Not only is the 2018 first-round pick aiming to be a regular in the Flyers' lineup during the tournament, but he's also shooting to play a prominent role (see story).
"I didn’t come in at the same time as the coaches into the coaching room there and they were talking about him," Vigneault said. "There’s no doubt he’s got some jump. He made some good plays on the ice with the puck. He's always in good position when he doesn’t have it. He’s come ready for this camp here and he’s working extremely hard. For our first scrimmage today, I was happy with what I saw from him."
Vigneault will now make some lineup changes throughout the week to "take a look at different combinations." The staff is eyeing all of camp, the exhibition game (July 28) and the round robin as an evaluation period for the ideal lineup to open the first round.
'I've really liked Ghost'
Give credit to Gostisbehere, who has had to undergo arthroscopic surgeries on both of his knees in 2020 but has maintained a positive attitude in wanting to help the Flyers go on a run.
And you know what, he's looked solid during camp despite having the second procedure about seven weeks ago. There's a good chance the 27-year-old defenseman is building a nothing-to-lose mentality going into the tournament. He's endured a hellish season and here's a chance for him to work his way back into the lineup when expectations aren't sky high (see story).
Gostisbehere scored a goal in the scrimmage and Vigneault highlighted him afterward.
So far in these first six days, I’ve really liked Ghost on the ice. He’s got more jump than I expected coming back from that second surgery. He’s got a lot of pop, a lot of jump on the ice. That’s very good for us as a team.
This is sort of a new time for everybody.
Mike Yeo said he went to Shayne Gostisbehere after practice and wanted him to know that Flyers are recognizing the work he’s putting in. pic.twitter.com/Df8aIsEEPB— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) July 17, 2020
Those officials look familiar
Flyers assistant coaches Mike Yeo and Michel Therrien coached the scrimmage.
Alain Vigneault and Chuck Fletcher from the perch.— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) July 18, 2020
(📷 by Flyers PR guru Zack Hill) pic.twitter.com/kK6JZlRbxh
Assistant coach Ian Laperriere and skills coach Angelo Ricci officiated the scrimmage.
"Couple of tough icing calls," Laughton said with a laugh. "I think Lappy was putting on the cape a little bit with the icing calls."
It makes you emotional. The way Oskar is, the way he acts around everyone and just his positive vibe and energy, it really does bring a smile to your face. The way he’s battled, I know everyone’s seen the video of him ringing the bell and all that. Just a special human being and really enjoy being around him.
- Laughton on Oskar Lindblom
I’m so excited. I thought about it the whole quarantine. I’m super pumped. I know I’m a good playoff guy, I can bring some depth and intensity. I’m excited to get playing against the other team.
- Nicolas Aube-Kubel on getting his first taste of the Stanley Cup Playoffs
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